This is a summary of a research project that has come to be known as SUNLITE, initially standing for Stanford University - NASA laser in space technology experiment. It involves scientists from the NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC), Stanford University, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA), and a growing number of other institutions. The long range objective of the SUNLITE effort is to examine the fundamental linewidth and frequency stability limits of an actively stabilized laser oscillator in the microgravity and vibration-free environment of space. The ground-based SUNLITE activities supporting that objective will develop a space-qualified, self-contained and completely automated terahertz oscillator stabilized to a linewidth of less than 3 Hz, along with a measurement system capable of determining laser linewidth to one part in 10(exp 16). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the critical technologies needed to place stabilized lasers in space and to describe the progress made by the SUNLITE project to develop these technologies.